The differences (or the lack thereof) between Obamacare and “Romneycare” were issues of significant debate in the 2012 presidential election. One side (Obama) argued that what worked in Massachusetts would work for the rest of the country. The other side (Romney) argued that the circumstances of Massachusetts weren’t like those of the rest of the country and that parts of Obamacare were dramatically different than Romneycare, meaning that while the latter was good policy for Massachusetts, the former was bad policy for America. New research has concluded that Romney was right.
The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that by 2015 Obamacare will add “about twelve times more to average marginal labor income tax rates nationwide than the Massachusetts [Romneycare] health reform added to average rates in Massachusetts.” The reasons cited for the dramatically higher tax hikes enacted by Obamacare include: (1) differences in population groups subject to the two laws, (2) the Obamacare employer penalty is “an order of magnitude greater” than the one in Romneycare, (3) the differences in health care-related welfare programs in Massachusetts and other states, and (4) differences in the subsidized health care plans offered by the two laws.
So, to recap for progressives/liberals, Massachusetts is indeed different than the rest of the country socially, economically, and policy-wise – meaning laws that may work there will actually be harmful elsewhere.
In other words, it turns out that the Founders actually did know what they were doing when they created our system of federalism, with a federal government of limited power and states holding sovereign authority over most domestic issues. When in doubt, perhaps we would be better served if we relied more on their wisdom and less on our own “sophistication.”